November 11th, 2014 | Category : bepress Development Blogs

Development Sneak Preview: November 2014

Jean-Gabriel Bankier, President and CEO of bepress

I hope everyone enjoyed the last round of improvements to Digital Commons, including pan/zoom for image galleries and a new featured collections page. We enjoy sharing with you our development plans, and I want to give you another peek at what’s ahead for the Digital Commons community.

At a glance:

  • Take These New Maps Anywhere
  • Preservation Enhancements
  • Searchable Custom Fields
  • PDF Cover Page Improvements
  • Download Filtering

Take These New Maps Anywhere

New Playback Readership Map
The readership activity map is a very popular way of showcasing the impact of the full repository collection in Digital Commons. By community demand, we will provide a way to showcase the impact of individual Journals, Communities, Conferences, etc. The new Playback Readership Map will be possible to display on any collection in your repository. Instead of real-time activity, the Playback Readership Map is designed to display the download activity from a select time period (e.g., last 7 days). Even if the visitor is in the middle of the night, the pins will be dropping and showing the collection’s impact. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post with details.

Embeddable Readership Activity Map
Another way of broadcasting your success is by embedding the readership activity map on your related campus websites. The homepage of your library, law school, or Office of Research can show the global impact of your scholarship. Do they require SSL? No problem! Embeddable maps will include SSL support.

Readership Maps on Mobile Devices
The map has been so effective at expressing the demand for your scholarship that we are expanding support to include mobile devices. You’ll be able to bring an iPad to casual meetings and wow your faculty with downloads.

Preservation Enhancements

Safeguarding content has always been a priority for bepress. In addition to our own array of protocols to help ensure perpetual access to your content, we have been working with a group of institutions, forming a Private LOCKSS Network (PLN) as an additional preservation method for their scholarship. We are further streamlining the ability of LOCKSS crawlers to gather content. These improvements also help to support institutions outside of the PLN, such as those using MetaArchive, to retrieve and preserve their scholarship in multiple locations.

Searchable Custom Fields

One of the most popular feature requests is to expand the search capabilities within Digital Commons. Currently visitors can search all of the basic fields and the full text of any record. But researchers are often searching for unique terms that are outside the default fields. Authors may be required to provide other metadata, such as grant information, and make it easily accessible. Searches will be able to easily locate content wherever the metadata is captured.

PDF Cover Page Improvements

Another popular feature of Digital Commons is our PDF cover pages. The cover pages encourage return visitors, save time for editors, and help to guarantee your institution attribution for its scholarship. We will be upgrading the technology that generates these cover pages and helping to support the wider variety of PDFs in existence today.

Download Filtering

As you know from our previous post, we spent significant time this year fighting a new rash of bots that was artificially inflating the download reports. Much of that work was responsive to particular patterns of abuse that we were trying to quash. We are completing related improvements that make our algorithm easier to adjust so that we can be more responsive to sudden shifts in behavior.

As you can see much of this work was driven by requests from the community. We have another iron in the fire, a new data visualization, but it’s too soon to share details yet.

Okay, so when do we get to see the new features?

These features are currently under development, but stay tuned to the DC Telegraph for updates on these features, news about other upcoming improvements, and a continued closer look at our development process.
For questions about upcoming or recently released features, feel free to contact our Consulting Services team at!